Development of New International Standards for Vitalizing IoT

Effort to reduce costs and provide new products and services through enhanced collaboration among equipment and systems.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hereby announces that in response to Japan’s submission to the ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee (JTC; 1*) of a proposal for developing new international standards for enhancing data collaboration among IoT systems, the JTC decided to advance deliberations on standardization of the proposed technology.

These new standards are expected to: encourage different industrial fields to mutually utilize IoT equipment among their systems; help companies reduce costs for system development; and encourage companies to collaboratively develop IoT systems.

Purpose of and background to the proposal
Recently, a growing number of social members have been making use of IoT, new technology in which all things are connected online. Against this backdrop, METI considers it significant for companies to secure interoperability (*2) among a variety of IoT equipment or systems which are connected online, as a foundation on which companies are able to collaboratively share their data among such equipment or systems.

The JTC, a body examining standardization of technologies in the field of information collaboration among equipment or systems for IoT-related technologies to promote this collaboration, defines five facets of interoperability (*3), i.e., semantic, syntactic, transport, policy, and behavioral, in order to achieve interoperability of IoT elements and it has been developing new standards from these facts.

METI hereby announces that in response to Japan’s submission to the JTC of a New Work Item Proposal (NP) seen from the syntactic or language constructions and grammar facet of the five facets, the JTC officially approved the NP and decided to start deliberations on the development of new standards for the technology which Japan has proposed.

1. ISO/IECJTC1/SC41: Japan submitted the NP to a technical subcommittee (SC41: internet of things and related technologies), a body established under the Joint Technical Committed (JCT1) by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
2. Interoperability: Situation in which things and systems or systems and systems are able to exchange information with each other and make use of information they have exchanged.
3. Five facets of interoperability: [i] semantic facet of information and data (semantic), [ii] syntactic facet of formats, constructions and grammar of languages with which information and data are written (syntactic), [iii] facet of data transport (transport), [iv] facet of a policy for interoperability of data (policy) and [v] facet of expected behaviors in using data (behavioral).

Details of the proposal
Many businesses have been using their own unique methods of writing information models, i.e., specifications for data, concerning collaboration among IoT equipment and to producing data based on the models. Japan has submitted the NP for developing international standards, using which businesses are able to automatically convert information models and data, which are written by a variety of methods, and to smoothly introduce their equipment or systems into the IoT environment at a low cost. The JTC will start full-fledged discussions from May 2020, aiming to issue new international standards in 2023.

Expected effects
These new international standards are expected to advance collaboration among IoT systems across different industrial fields and thereby permit businesses to make use of information with each other. Taking this advantage, businesses will be able to reduce costs for connecting IoT equipment or systems, and as a result, also reduce costs for manufacturing products, and, accordingly, they may contribute to vitalizing collaborative development between businesses. Moreover, the standards are anticipated to permit businesses to organically operate a variety of information brought about by multiple IT infrastructure systems, which have been operated independently, and, thereby, they are expected to contribute to achieving the Society 5.0 policy.